Al Kasha who co-composed Elvis' “Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby” died last Monday, aged 83.
Al Kasha is best remembered for writing (with Joel Hirschhorn) Oscar-winning songs such as 'The Morning After' a Billboard #1 ballad from disaster epic “The Poseidon Adventure”.
He also composed music and lyrics to songs for 'The Towering Inferno' (1974) and earned the songwriting duo two Academy Awards for best song.
Mr. Kasha was already a seasoned songwriter and music producer before making his way to Hollywood in the late 1960s. A veteran of Manhattan’s Brill Building pop factory, he churned out songs that were recorded by artists including Elvis Presley (“Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby”), Charles Aznavour (“The Old Fashioned Way”), Aretha Franklin (“Operation Heartbreak”) and later Donna Summer (“I’m a Fire”).
“The Morning After” was later released as a single by Maureen McGovern, then an unknown singer and slowly climbed to the top of the Billboard charts after winning the Oscar in 1973.
Interestingly Mr. Kasha, who was born Jewish, also focused on spiritual music. Some of his songs reflected his turn toward Christianity, which began during a period of
intense agoraphobia in the late 1970s. He became an ordained minister and, together with his wife, Ceil, founded a church known as Oasis Christian Fellowship. Their ministry grew out of a weekly Bible study the Kashas hosted at home, meeting with actors, dancers and, in Mr. Kasha’s telling, Bob Dylan, who was then on the verge of a gospel music phase.
Kasha noted, “Dylan wrote his whole entire ‘Slow Train Coming’ album in front of our fireplace. We gave him a key to the house because we were songwriters and songwriters feel a sense of spirit in a room. I heard the guitar playing some nights, but I wouldn’t bother him.”